No, Really… Take a Chill Pill

In our last piece, you got four insider tips on pre-visit tranquilizers that should increase everyone’s comfort level with using this kind of medicine. If you’re still dragging your feet, here are four more great reasons to use them (when recommended).

5. Tranqs aren’t dangerous. We use medicinesthat specifically target the brain and its capacity for fear. Because they don’t suppress vital functions like heartbeat and respiration, they’re safe even for patients with severe illnesses. A sleepy appearance is normal and is NOT a sign of overdosemany pet owners are needlessly alarmed by this. Furthermore, pre-visit drugs are routinely used in pairsyet the vast majority of clients refuse to give both prescriptions. Just follow the doctor’s orders. Even in combination, these things won’t make himinto a catatonic zombie or a habitual drug user. The evening of his visit, safe in his own bed, he’ll sleep it offand be back to 100% within 24 hours.

6Your petdoes need your supervision and might seem like a child, but he is not a teenager at a house party. This is a doctor’s office.Nothing unseemly or crude will happen to him while he is woozy; he will get exactly, precisely the same boring treatment as the unmedicated pet in the next room.Nothing painful is attempted without actual painkillers on board; it wouldn’t work at all.

7. Tranqs might help to keep your pet from doing something you both will regret. Puncturing human skin with one’s teeth isn’t a capital offense; however, it is a perfectly legal excuse for the state Health Department to get their nose right up in your business. Dog and cat bites set something in motion that can not be reversed, requiring a ten-day quarantine which must conclude with another office visit. If you have even the slightest premonition that I might be describing your pet, save yourself a ton of hassle. So much hassle. Keep his rabies shot current, and administer those pre-visit drugs that were prescribed.

8. Strangely, a handful of individuals need a tranq because they are enjoying the clinic too much. These are lovely dogs (always dogs… never cats...) who are just crazy about everyone they meet. For these patients, we’ll select a drug that slows their bouncing down to a speed where they can be detected by the human eye. Otherwise, you’re just not getting your money’s worth at the vet.

One more important thing to know: this type of drug often has a broad dosage range. That meansdifferent pets need different amounts of medicine, even if they are two animals of identical weight. You won’t know how much is necessary until you actually observe the effects. It’s wise to conduct a trial run or two before attempting your real appointmentto pinpoint how many tablets he actually needs. If it’s still not doing the job, call your doctor for advice. He or she will adjust doses and reformulate the cocktail as necessary. Don’t ever give up on your dream of an easier and more productive vet visit. 

Dr. M.S. Regan